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When should I take my child to the emergency room (ER) for a bone injury?

Medical City Dallas
Orthopedic Surgery
When it comes to children and bone injuries, if a parent is concerned enough that they think their child may need emergency room (ER) treatment, they should take their child to the ER. That being said, there are some things that can help parents make a decision if they are on the fence.

These are signs that your child definitely needs to go to the ER:
  • a bone is sticking out of the skin
  • an arm or a leg is crooked; the bone needs to be set back into position
  • a hand or foot is numb, blue or so swollen that the child can't move her fingers or toes
Most injuries don't require urgent intervention. If a child falls and the wrist is sore over the bone and it's a bit swollen but the child can move everything and the bone is not flopping around, that  kind of injury can usually wait. Call your pediatrician and describe the injury and symptoms. That may save a trip to the ER.

Again, if a parent is concerned enough that the little radar in their head is going off that they should go to the ER, then that's probably a good thing to listen to.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.